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Marketing Blog

Ken Okonek

Sales expert’s advice for maintaining relationships during a crisis (VIDEO)

It’s a tough time to be in business. We know it. You know it. Your customers know it.

Many sectors are going through a period of uncertainty as the latest public health advice requires them to fundamentally change the way they trade. Businesses all around the United States are scrambling to adapt and find new ways to secure their revenue streams.

With the right digital marketing strategy, however, it could be a real opportunity for growth.

The secret to success? Simply stop selling.

Tip 1: Shift your focus

“Wait a second,” we hear you thinking. “What did you just say? Aren’t you a digital marketing company? Isn’t the whole point of marketing to convert sales?”

Yes it is. You’re not wrong, but bear with us for a moment.

Ken Okonek is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Beacon Media + Marketing. He says current circumstances are perfect for building genuine and lasting connections within your local community. The trick is putting your sales initiatives on hold and shifting your focus to the people around you.

“We need to come from a place that is empathetic and grateful. We can’t just capitalize and try to get every dollar that we can, because that comes through in the wrong way,” he says.

“Right now, you should not be trying to sell anything. You should be branding your vision of where you want to be and what you want to do. Dollars will eventually come, but they will stem from a relationship. That’s what you want to have with your people, a long-term connected relationship.”

Anchorage businesswoman Lorie Hardin, who runs Birch Dispute Resolution, is one example. She provides certified divorce coaching, mediation and parenting services. In recent weeks, however, she has found herself leading a group of 3,300 sewers from all around Alaska who are donating a lot of time to stitching surgical-style masks to assist healthcare providers.

Looking for a way to help your business pivot? Have questions about digital marketing in a crisis? Simply need a sounding board for new ideas? Join our new Facebook group.

Tip 2: Stay relevant

Many businesses are facing tough times, there’s no doubt about it. However, Ken says shifting your focus from the short-term to the long-term can help you build the momentum to push through.

He says the key to long-term success from a digital marketing perspective is simply to make sure you’re relevant.

“This thing that we’re dealing with is a short-term time frame. The long-term is so much more important. Knowing how to speak to an audience, create content that has value, build your brand, build your awareness, building engagement within your community is so important right now.”

Businesses everywhere are keeping tabs on what their local communities need and springing into action to help. ServiceMaster of Alaska is one example. It’s a home restoration business that typically assists clients with things like water removal, fire damage, mold damage and odors.

Right now, however, a dedicated crew has stepped up to help local businesses disinfect their premises in a bid to keep their workers safe and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Tip 3: Get creative

There has never been a better time to think outside the box and start trying new things.

In some ways, the fact that it’s a tough time for businesses across the board presents a perfect opportunity to take some risks. Ken explains that revising your digital marketing strategy and reassessing your strengths and weaknesses now may help your business become more solid than ever.

“Right now, you have an opportunity to maybe diversity or spread out your [streams] of income. That way, when we do get into this new normal where we can all get outside and engage with people again, you might have a different revenue stream, or a couple of revenue streams, that you didn’t have before,” he explains.

“We have a unique opportunity right now because of the market to be able to pivot, to shift some perspective in the way we’re helping people in the marketplace. This could be a huge opportunity, not just for you to be able to get through these tough times – because believe me, we all understand that there is tough time we’re dealing with right now as a country.”

Tip 4: Help others

Once incredibly positive thing us that we’re all going through this together. We all have something in common and it’s in everyone’s best interests that our businesses survive.

Jennifer Christensen is a co-founder and the Vice President of Marketing at Beacon Media + Marketing. She says it’s critical that we help each other transition into the “new norm.”

“I talked to somebody recently who is working with their competitors for the first time because they recognize that hey, if we can all work together and help each other get through this, we’re all going to end up being better off at the end,” she explains.

“We want to help everybody rise up. If we can all be successful – well, successful right now means something different. It means helping people through it,” she explains.

Beacon Media + Marketing is a digital marketing agency with top-tier remote working capabilities and a passion for helping businesses grow. This is definitely one of those areas where you really have to walk the talk, which means we always take our own advice.

We’re offering three giveaways to help you adapt to working from home:

  1. FREE Chatbox installation. The first 10 businesses to respond will receive a chatbox installation on their website. A chatbox is the easiest way for customers to reach out to you with questions and concerns and it will make staying on top of enquiries a breeze.
  2. FREE Zoom training. Zoom is a video conferencing tool that will make it easy to touch base with your team and run staff meetings as normal. Not only does this make sure your business can run as normal, but regular contact can ensure everyone copes with the change.
  3. FREE Livestream training. Facebook livestreams are a great way to connect with your customers to keep them informed of what’s happening and make sure you’re still responding to their needs. Our videographer can answer all your questions.

Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll help you get started.

For more stories about businesses finding ways to pivot, as well as crisis communication tips, digital marketing advice and a sounding board for ideas, join our Facebook group.

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